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Here’s a question of pongs from Tom from Yerevan, Armenia:
I have recently given up smoking and as a result my sense of smell and taste have begun to return, which is bloody wonderful.
I am also dating a lovely Iranian woman who I like very much. However, there is one tiny problem. She wears perfume every day. In fact she wears a lot of perfume every day. Back when I was smoking I didn’t really notice and in fact I quite liked how she smelled, but now I have started to notice with my heightened senses that the scent can be a little overpowering at times.
Furthermore, the perfume she wears is a very popular brand where we live in Yerevan (Armenia) and many older women also wear it.
I don’t want her to stop wearing perfume altogether, but I think I would be happier if she wore less, or maybe switched to something that is a little different to what she wears now.
So please answer me this: How can I tell my wonderful Iranian girlfriend that she smells like an old Armenian woman without causing upset or some sort of difficult diplomatic situation??
First tip: avoid using the phrase ‘smells like an old Armenian woman’.
If my creaking old memory serves, we’ve addressed this problem before – I think one of you had an overly scented grandmother? – and solutions included 1) buying her a watered-down version of the same fragrance, eg the eau de toilette versus the full-power perfume; 2) pretending to be allergic to it by sneezing/painting on a rash. Readers, what would you do? [RWWYD?]